Cisco said this week that it agreed to pay $125 million in cash for San Francisco-based MindMeld, which combines AI with natural language interfaces for applications and devices.
Cisco said that the MindMeld staff will report to the company's collaboration business unit, which sells workplace chat software and other business productivity tools like a 55-inch digital whiteboard for people to conduct meetings with.
Cisco said MindMeld's technology will be used for new conversational interfaces for its products, such as using natural-language commands to interact with the Cisco Spark messaging platform. MindMeld develops chat and voice interfaces collaboration products that Cisco plans to work into its collaboration products.
Cisco has stated its belief that artificial intelligence and machine learning will play more and more important roles for all parts of business, and aims to embed it across its network and the cloud.
MindMeld can create AI-powered conversational interfaces.
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The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco's fiscal fourth quarter.
MindMeld has sought to address that challenge using a number of machine learning technologies, such as natural language processing, question answering, and dialog management. "I'm excited for the potential represented by the MindMeld team and their technology, coupled with Cisco's market-leading collaboration portfolio, to enable us to create a user experience that is unlike anything that exists in the market today". "MindMeld will power conversational interfaces for Cisco's Collaboration portfolio, revolutionizing how users interact with technology". Together, Cisco and MindMeld can bring voice AI to meeting rooms throughout the world, where Cisco's video and telephony hardware will help increase adoption of AI technology across the workplace, the company stated.
MindMeld is Cisco's second acquisition in the last two weeks.
The MindMeld team will join the Cloud Collaboration group under the leadership of GM Jens Meggers, as the Cognitive Collaboration team. The company purchased AppDynamics earlier this year for an astounding $3.7 billion.